Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Melbourne Comedy Festival review:: WHO NEEDS A VAGINA ANYWAY...

Monday, April 09, 2007 
Glitch Bar

Tonight the audience's will to see Dean Arcuri succeed in his journey "to get in touch with his femine side" is almost tangible (indeed the audience are responsible for many of the bigger laughs), but with no perceptible narrative to hang on to, a woeful lack of rehearsal and a huge reliance on the assumption that a drunk man in a sequin dress is hilarious, we are left wanting.

Arcuri does, when he loosens up, have an impressive voice, and his lyrics can be hilarious, but this can't detract from the fact that the show is full of sequences that just don't work. To begin with, there is virtually no story; the man has been dumped and is experiencing a sort of alcohol-fuelled crisis, and that is pretty much it - which would be fine were it done with a shred of originality or flair. No attempt is made to draw us in to his plight, and tangents involving his accompanying musicians take up much of the show time (tenor sax player Stefan is a noteably impressive foil, and pianist Anastacia a solid support), while the heavy reliance on audience participation makes you feel if the audience don't go along with Arcuri, he's shafted.

However the show does begin to work with the closing number, which, while not quite able to leave you with a warm feeling towards it, does show what Arcuri and his exuberent confidence is capable of and that is, probably going far. Treating this show as a tentative first step to self-produced cabaret, it's patchy at best. Those who find Fat Pizza funny may dig this, just lay aside any pedestal you may have put Nina Simone on, and be prepared to accept that Dino's ex-girlfriend wore an 80s blue sequined dress, used potpurri and doilies and dated a gay jazz singer. It's early days.

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